Type of use
Preventative and curative
Conditions of use
Alternative sources of food
Hypoaspis miles (Stratiolaelaps scimitus) is a predatory mite which preys on a range of soil organisms.
Hypoaspis miles was commercially developed for control of Sciarid flies in ornamental plants, because it is a generalist predator, it will also feed on a range of other soil organisms. These include mature larvae of Frankliniella occidentalis which drop to the soil to pupate, and larvae of other pest insects.
Hypoaspis miles is normally found within the top 1 cm of soil or potting medium, or in surface debris. It can also be seen moving over the surface of pots and benches. Hypoaspis miles females lay eggs amongst particles of soil or peat. Total development from egg to adult at 20°C takes between 17 and 18 days when plentiful food is available.
At 15°C the total developmental period extends to 34 days, and no development was observed in the laboratory at 10°C. Individuals kept at this temperature do however recover when the temperature rises. At 24°C, the development cycle shortens to approximately 12 days. Temperatures of 32°C prevent further growth and development.
Adults are reported to live for several months when food is present, and for up to 70 days in the absence of food, providing they have previously fed. This extraordinary longevity enhances the ability of Hypoaspis miles to control low level populations of Sciarids and other pests.
Hypoaspis miles should also be used as part of a thrips control programme in long term crops which are very sensitive to thrips damage, such as many ornamentals.
Rates vary from